Skip to main content

About Me

Welcome to the website of Bryan Young.

I'm Bryan Young.

I've been working in storytelling for a long time and this blog has been active in one form or another since 2005 or so.  The original mission of this site was to post a short piece of free fiction that I'd written once a month.  Since I've become a professional writer, I've started to revise and reedit the stories that were available here, publishing them in short story collections and in small digital packs.

I started my career as a storyteller in film and have co-directed (with Elias Pate) numerous shorts and two feature-length films.  Between us and on my own, I've been involved in writing almost 20 feature length screenplays.  I got into writing, assistant-direction, and producing of documentary films with This Divided State and carried on with twice as much responsibility on Killer at Large.  Both films won numerous awards and are currently available on DVD across the world from The Disinformation Company and are available on Netflix.

Since 2006, I've been a contributor to The Huffington Post where I've been writing about politics, comic books, and the intersections of the two.  In 2009, Lucas Ackley and I founded the geek news and review site Big Shiny Robot! where I am Editor-in-Chief.  I've also written close to 2400 articles for the site, and my primary beat is covering Star Wars. Now, I'm pleased to report that I'm doing a series on film and Star Wars for the official Star Wars website and contributing regularly to Star Wars Insider.

As far as my career as a prose writer, I published my first short story as a junior in high school in 1997. It was a science fiction short called "The Assassination of Hitler" and has since been (gratefully) lost to the sands of time.  I continued writing prose, though not for publication until 2005, when I began this site originally. I helped Derek Hunter write the first issue of Pirate Club, which eventually turned into two graphic novels at Slave Labor Graphics. After that, we collaborated on a story for the first Popgun Anthology for Image Comics. In October of 2010, I published my first novella called The Colossus.  I was invited by Mike Stackpole to write it as part of his Chain Story Project.  My first novel, Lost at the Con, came out in June 2011.  It was released alongside a collection of short fiction stories I wrote called Man Against the Future. Since then, I've released a sci-fi adventure novel called Operation: Montauk and a sci-fi western called The Serpent's Head.

My fourth novel, The Aeronaut, will be available soon.

If you'd like to contact me, you can email me at bryan (at) bigshinyrobot.com.

Current Projects:

Fall '15 
The Aeronaut - Steampunk World War I story
Escape Vector - a collection of space opera short stories

Summer '16 - My stories will appear in three different anthologies hitting this summer.

Throughout these dates I'll be publishing smaller projects, short story collections, and essays along the way.  Be sure to check back often.

Popular posts from this blog

50+ Rules and Tips About Writing I've Collected Over the Years

I have twenty or thirty notebooks and journals filled up with snippets about writing, my plans for stories, bits of dialogue, interesting ideas, plotlines, scraps of short stories, and a dozen other things. I carry one with me at all times and it takes me a couple of months to fill one up.

One of the things I've kept in one of my notebooks was a collection of writing tips and rules that I've collected over the years in my travels. From teachers, from books, from wherever. Most of my career has been spent screenwriting, so a lot of these are most applicable to that, but I wanted to present them so they might be of use to you as well.

I've never stopped collecting these over the years and I never will.

To start the list are Kurt Vonnegut's eight rules of writing. They are the first in my notebook and, I think, the most useful. I'll add a star to those I think are applicable most to screenwriting. Some of these aren't applicable to everyone in every situation, but…

Anatomy of an Opening: The End of the Affair

Instead of breaking down a scene from a movie, this time we'll break down the opening of a book. (Previously, I've done scenes from City Lights, Citizen Kane, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  I've also broken down the opening to Starship Troopers.

Graham Greene's The End of the Affair is absolutely one of my favorite books. The writing is lyrical and story heart-wrenching and beautiful. Greene's style of writing is such that he always has me gripped, whether it's the beginning of the book or the end. And he shows you so much about the character in his opening lines.

So, here are the first two paragraphs from the book:
A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which, to look ahead. I say 'one chooses' with the inaccurate pride of a professional writer who - when he has been seriously noted at all - has been praised for his technical ability, but d…

World Building Without Bogging Down Your Novel

I was asked to talk today about how you build a world without bogging down your novel. And it's something you see all too much of, not just in the work of those working toward becoming professionals, but in professionally published manuscripts as well.

Part of the problem is that writers become so in love with their world that they hit you with as much of it as they can right from the beginning. There are dumps and dumps of exposition that are supposed to paint a vibrant world, but too many colors of paint hit the canvas and instead of a beautiful sunset and a happy little tree, you're looking at a big smudge of brown where too many colors mixed.

That's not to say you can't get away with some florid description. Sometimes, my favorite passages in books are descriptions of the world that leave my breath taken.

But you don't need all of it in your book.

The question you need to ask yourself is this: does it add to the story?

If you're creating a fantasy or a sci…